The upcoming X.Org release will largely improve the monitor handling regarding to hot plugging. This is especially important for Laptop users. You can already test these abilities with the current Fedora Live test CDs.
One of the most expected features of the upcoming X.Org 7.3 will be the “hotpluggy sweetness” which will bring hot-plug support of display devices to Linux. With this support it will finally be possible to change monitor setups and switch between display devices without the need of restarting X.
In theory this feature will already be available before the X.Org 7.3 release: the X.Org team decided to unbundle the release dates for the core server, the modules and the rest. Therefore the server already has its own release number (on my system currently 1.1.1) while other parts like the fonts have the 7.x numbers. The 7.x parts are together called “katamari”, btw.
The server is supposed to include the new RandR with version 1.3 while X.Org 7.3 is supposed to be shipped with server 1.4. So, the new RandR will be available earlier than the X.Org 7.3
And here steps Fedora in: Fedora 7 will include the X.Org release 7.2, but the server version 1.3 – so ready for hot-plugging. And today the Fedora KDE LiveCD creator send me the package list for the current LiveCD builds:
So I tested the updated version of the KDE Fedora Live CD, which shapes up quite nicely, btw. And yes, RandR 1.2 was included and ready to go.
If you want to give it a try, download the Fedora Test LiveCD (a current Fedora KDE LiveCD snapshot can also be downloaded here). The usage of the new RandR should be obvious, but you can also have a look at this report.
Please note: Due to a missing second monitor I was not actually able to test the new RandR but I would very much appreciate any information about if or how it worked!
Also, if you have any feedback especially about Fedora’s KDE Live CD you can drop me a message and I will forward it to the main developer. Feedback (positive or negative) is always welcomed and also important for the future development of the LiveCD.
Due to a short discussion with another blogger I realized that the new released Ubuntu 7.04, Feisty Fawn, also includes the new RandR. I thought Fedora 7 would be the first one, but I was wrong. Congrats to all the Ubuntu users out there, now external X devices are no problem at all anymore. The last thing missing is a fancy GUI.
Ha, Mandriva also included the new RandR. So Fedora won’t be alone. Still, I’m really surprised that no one else took notice of this development…